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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 201865
Last updated: 15 March 2021
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Date:29-MAR-1942
Time:01:00 LT
Type:Vickers Wellington Mk III
Owner/operator:419 (Moose) Sqn RCAF
Registration: X3477
C/n / msn: VR-G
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 6
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:sand banks near Pütthausen, north of Wilhelmshaven, Niedersachsen -   Germany
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Mildenhall
Destination airport:Lubeck
Narrative:
The aircraft was intercepted on the way to the target by two Luftwaffe ME-110 night fighters coming at them head on. One nightfighter was dealt with by the nose gunner Flt Sgt Bailey and then Plt Off Brodrick, the rear gunner, also engaged the fighter as it came under his guns. It was noted that the cockpit of the enemy aircraft was damaged and one engine was on fire as the fighter fell out of sight. During the attack, cannon fire from the ME110 damaged controls and put the rear turret out of action. The results of the gunfire also wounded the pilot Plt Off Hobson who still managed to jettison the bombs and fly the aircraft. Flt Sgt Flesch was severly wounded. X3477 was badly damaged by the attack the use of dive manoeuvres helped to shake off the last fighter. This manoeuvre brought the aircraft into range of what was initially light flak. The flak increased the further they strayed. With his controls becoming less responsive Plt Off Hobson was not able to stop the additional damage being inflicted by the flak. The Wellington was reported to have impacted at a high rate of speed into a marshy area near Wilhelmshaven Germany. Details given later by Flt Sgt Bailey describes that X3477's nose section broke off on impact and the centre section of the Wellington spun around and skidded backwards.While the rear section was thrown a distance from the main sections. Of all the crew only Bailey was uninjured. Brodrick was taken to hospital in Wilhelmshaven with severe back injuries. Marcotte's injuries were also to his back, suffering a fracture to his first lumbar vertebrae and concussion. For eight days he lay unconscious. Plt Off Hobson and Flt Sgt Flesch later died of their injuries, no mention is made of their injuries or where they were hospitalized, but most likely it was at Wilhelshaven Naval Hospital as were Brodrick and Marcotte.
It is possible that one of the Me110's involved was that of Lt Wolfgang Jank and BF Fw Fritz Stoldt. They were flying Bf110 D5+LN 6./NJG3 and claimed a Wellington over Dithmarscher Bight at 23:35. Due to battle damage they received the aircraft belly landed at their base Schleswig. Also their claim was subsequently denied. Plt Off Hobson and Flt Sgt Flesch were intially buried locally. After 1945 they were re-interred at Sage War Cemetery.

Crew
Pilot: J/4903 Plt Off Kenneth Edward Hobson RCAF Died of his injuries - Sage War Cemetery 13. C. 13.
2nd Pilot: Flt Sgt Joseph Clarence Albert Marcotte RCAF PoW 73. Stalag Luft 6 Heydekrug
Observer: R/75715 Flt Sgt Arnold Leo Flesch RCAF Died of his injuries - Sage War Cemetery 13. C. 11.
Wireless Operator Sgt K H Paul RCAF PoW 265 Stalag Luft 6 Heydekrug
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner: Flt Sgt S J Bailey RCAF PoW 24805 Stalag 344 Lamsdorf
Air Gunner: Plt Off W E Broderick RCAF PoW 762 Stalag Luft 3 Sagan & Belaria


Sources:

Bomber Command Losses 1942
419 Moose Sqn Association
CWGC
Nachtjagd Combat Archive The Early Years part two
Google Maps


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
25-Nov-2017 23:28 Red Dragon Added
18-Jul-2018 08:19 Anon. Updated [Operator, Total fatalities]
10-Oct-2018 12:17 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
16-Apr-2020 13:11 TigerTimon Updated [Date, Time, Other fatalities, Location, Source]

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